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Dear Readers,

Today is an exciting day.  We are finally launching My Persian Kitchen! That’s right we are moving on up!

Much to my excitement Persian Kitchen took off pretty fast and many people have been kind enough to leave comments expressing their excitement about there being a blog like mine where they can learn about Persian Cuisine.

I can’t begin to even express how much I enjoy reading comments by the readers.  Each note not only makes me more motivated to cook and post about the cuisine of my homeland, but I am also encourage to expand this new venture in my life and see where it takes us all.

You will notice that our name is now “My Persian Kitchen.”  This was a happy accident, if you will.  When I originally created Persian Kitchen on wordpress  I never looked into domains to see which were taken as I had no idea that it would become as popular as it has. Someone has been sitting on that name for a few years and I knew that they would probably want a pretty penny for selling it to me.

So we played around with some names and one of my relatives, known here as Hungry Tiger, suggested adding the word “my.”  The other ironic coincidence is that as of late I have become more aware of other food blogs by either just clicking away through the bloggersphere or coming upon them on Twitter.  Sure enough, I realized that there are a lot of people out there with blog names that are a combination of two words one of them being “Kitchen.” So in the scheme of things,  My Persian Kitchen breaks that pattern a little bit.

I hope you will continue to enjoy our posts and visit us often at our new permanent home.  Please leave comments as we love to hear from you!

The Kitchen Staff

I have been meaning to post recipes here, but life and such has been getting in the way. I have a few recipes photographed and they simply need to be edited and posted.  But but but but…

Anyway, it has been unbelievably hot in Los Angeles these days and my brain doesn’t always function fully when it is this hot. Not to mention my sense of humor tends to take a vacation and land itself into dreamland where there is a nice pool, a nice ocean breeze, and someone who cooks and cleans for her.

I don’t know about you, but just like my sense of humor I like little weekend getaways to places where there is plenty of things to do yet there is also plenty of time to just sit around read a book or just hang out with cool people.

Here is a fun thing I have done and if you want a fun weekend where you can go back in time and be a kid again at camp, then you must check this little fun event out from Friday September 25th to Sunday September 27th in Catalina Island.

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I just look at the picture above and I just want to dive right in.  You know why? You see that rock?  It is my favorite place to go snorkeling. Amen.

We all need vacations where we can just forget about it all and have some good times! So my advice today for Wellness Wednesday is reward yourself with vacations!

Last week The Sous Chef and I along with a friend took a road trip up north. We left our dog with our trusted friend Mr. B who has a dog of his own Tucker. It is nice to have friends who have dogs who can dogsit while you are gone and vise versa.

We were into our third day of good times and had just ended our first tour of wine tasting at one of the wineries in Sonoma. We went outside to sit on the patio to enjoy the views. I was feeling a little tipsy just from the four different types of wine that we had tried. I noticed that there was a message on my phone. Upon checking my voicemail my heart nearly stopped beating as only two words seemed to have registered in my brain: “lost” and “dog.” I panicked. For a split second all I could think of was my wonderful, sweet, submissive, and unable to survive in the wild for 1 hour dog being lost in the mountains of Idyllwild and being eaten by coyotes. Of course I went immediately into the worst case scenario possible. I re-listened to the message while my heart was beating so hard that I thought it was going to break my rib cage, slice open my skin, and fly out of my body.

The message was from Avid, the company that tracks lost pets based on the information on their chip. Someone had found my dog’s dogtag and had called the number to report having found it.

I took a deep breath because I immediately knew that my sweet baby was not lost because the dogtag found was the one that belonged to Avid, which lives on my keychain. I figured out that somehow it had fallen off the keychain while The Sous Chef was carrying it the day before.

It is a good thing to know that the info works and they do call you, although, I got the message a whole 24 hours later. Anyway, I carry the Avid dogtag on my keychain because I always have it with me anywhere I go. Our dog not only is chipped but also wears a nametag with my cell phone number as well as The Sous Chef’s cell number on it, but she also wears a second tag that has her rescue group’s number on it. So really, who ever finds her would have a choice of three numbers to call before having to take her somewhere were the chip info can be scanned.

Anyway, I called the company back and they gave me to person’s name, Bryan, and his number. I called him and sure enough he had found the dogtag on the street in Berkeley and he was kind enough to put it in an envelop and send it to our home address.

I re-uncounted this whole story because it is what I call a random act of kindness. Bryan didn’t have to pick-up the dogtag, take the time to call Avid, or mail it to me for that matter. But he did. And for that I am extremely grateful.

It is refreshing to see people who are kind and considered. But most importantly, and ironically, it was a reminder of “what goes around comes around.” I say ironically because I had a conversation with The Sous Chef recently precisely about how I feel that it seems that I notice more and more a lack of kindness and consideration by others, especially those who you actually give to.  I find people who are takers very hard to deal with. It gets tiring to give and give while simply receive back a lack of appreciation or at times a thank you.

What happened this past week was a good example of what The Sous Chef reminded me. In a nutshell sometimes you get back kindness from people who you least expect it from or know for that matter, and not from those whom you have given to. It is all about what you put out in the universe. It will come back, one way or the other.

Have you experienced a random act of kindness?

Persian Skewers

Persian Skewers1 (Medium)

I thought I would post a little tutorial about Persian skewers this week in light of last week’s post about Jujeh Kabob.  You may have noticed that the skewers that I used are not the skinny wooden type that people are usually used to using when making kabobs. There are two different types of skewers used when making Persian style kabob.

Persian Skewers4 (Medium)

As you can see in the picture above these are metal skewers with a wooden handle. They are long, flat, and narrow.  This is the type of skewer that Persians usually use for grilling chicken kabob and tomatoes. These babies have quite the kabob mileage on them.  They were passed down to us by one of my favorite people in this whole entire planet Hamid.  Since then they have pretty much been used every time we make chicken kabob.

Persian Skewers3 (Medium)

The second type of skewers are the same length as the ones used for chicken kabob and are also flat, however, they are wider. These skewers are predominantly used for Kabob Koobideh, which is ground beef kabob.  These workout better for this type of kabob because there is more surface for the ground beef to stay attached giving it the flat and wide look.

I love using this type of skewers because you can grill larger quantities of meat and also spend less time skewering. They are also easy to clean AND you don’t have to soak them prior to using or worry that they will catch fire!

A couple of weeks ago the Los Angeles Times ran the article Better Sleep, Better Living, which I found very interesting.  I meant to blog about the subject matter for that week’s Wellness Wednesday.  However, I ended up blogging about the post-election chaos in Iran instead, as it was heavily on my mind.

What type of sleeper are you? I used to be a deep sleeper. Somehow as I have gotten older that has changed.  I am not a morning person, yet, I have never been one of those people who can sleep in or sleep until past noon.  When I used to have a regular 8 to 5 job I always struggled to get out of bed in the morning, yet when the weekend came around I could not sleep past 8am, a whole two hours later than my usual wake up time during the week.

Interestingly, my sleep patterns do not reflect the outcome of the study presented in the article. As I have gotten older my sleep patterns have also become affected about how I feel. If there is something that bothers me profoundly, I will lose sleep over it. I have been known to toss and turn all night unable to sleep.

There are also other things that can have an impact on my sleep. I won’t talk to you about the hardship falling  asleep and all the nightmares that I would have the night before any exam.  The nightmares were always the same, I either never made it to the exam because I get lost or I had no means to get there OR I just sat there and because I forget everything.

I have found that there are also other factors that can affect my sleep. I know that it is in my best interest to stay away from coffee or strong tea in the afternoon, as well as not have a heavy dinner.  I have also found that Chamomile Tea works like a charm. It completely relaxes me and I eventually fall asleep.

Two other points of interest for me about the article were “cooling the brain” and “happy, rested couples.” I kind of chuckled at both.  Cooling the brain, yeah, I really have an issue with that. Sometimes, there are so many things going on in my head that I don’t seem to be able shut down my brain at night.  It is crazy how at times I have solved issues in my sleep simply because my brain just didn’t stop working.  Point and case,  last Friday morning I woke up and had a solution in regards to what to do with our dog while we are going on our road trip.  I woke up with a plan for the pending logistics of the last two days of it.

Now without reveling too much…my comment to the following quote was: YOU DON’T SAY!!!!

The quality of a couple’s sleep and relationship tend to follow the same trajectory, researchers said. On a day-to-day basis, a couple’s relationship affects how well they sleep. And how well they sleep affects how the relationship functions the following day.

Holly mother of God if that ain’t true, I don’t know what is! I have spent a few sleepless nights when I was furious with my significant other.  If things were bad the night before, then you better believe it that they are not going to be any better after a night spent tossing and turning!!

They always say that sleep can have an effect on your mood, alertness, state of mind, and weight.  I always try to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.  I find that if I go past that, I don’t feel as good.  I also know that it is not as easy for me to go back to sleep once awakened in the middle of the night. I hate being awakened for this very issue.  You may be so amused to know that The Sous Chef works nights and gets home around 3am.  So needless to say that I don’t really get the luxury of having continues sleep because I get awakened by his not so subtle entrance. Or that he complains about the fact that The Dog and I have left him no room on the bed or there is not enough covers for him.  Or the latest? He woke me up one day last week at crack of dawn telling me to stop pinching him. In my perplexity over the accusation all I could utter was, “how can I pinch you if I was asleep?” But he was convinced and angry that I was pinching him.  Seriously, I had better things to do, such such as sleep! In retrospect, it may have been true, it must have been my subconscious mind telling my fingers to pinch him for waking me up as much as he does!!!!

Have you ever pondered about your own sleeping patterns?

Sahrbateh Albaloo1 (Medium)

One of my most favorite Persian drinks is Sharbateh Albaloo.  It is the most delicious and refreshing juice ever.  I have very fond memories of being in Iran and drinking it during hot summer days.  This drink is  always offered to guests when they come for a visit along with other options such as tea and water.

I love albaloo, what here we commonly know as sour cherries. We used to have a small tree of sour cherries in my grandmother’s backyard. This was yet another fruit to look forward to in the early summer.  I used to pick fresh ones from the tree all the time.  Good old days! It has been years since I have had fresh ones.

Sharbateh Albaloo is really easy to make. Once you have had it, life will never be the same! Here is what you need:

Sour Cherry Syrup (can be purchased at Middle Eastern stores)

Water

Ice

Sahrbateh Albaloo2 (Small)

I personally like to drink mine very very very cold. So I not only use ice, but also cold water out of the fridge.

Sahrbateh Albaloo3 (Small)

First place ice in the glass and then add the syrup.  It is up to you how much syrup to put in, depending on how sweet you like your drink. I don’t like mine too sweet so I find that the amount shown in the picture is perfect for me.  Nevertheless, it is best to keep the ratio to more water than syrup.

Sahrbateh Albaloo4 (Small)

Add water.

Sahrbateh Albaloo5 (Small)

Give it a nice stir and watch as the color changes into a dramatic and gorgeous ruby.

4th of July

Hello folks!

Happy 4th of July! I hope you all are going to have lovely day filled with much laughter, good company, and good food!

Here are some cooking suggestions for you to either make for your own BBQ or take with you where ever you are going.

Chicken Kabob1 (Medium)

Jujeh Kabob, Persian Style Chicken Kabob

veggies1 (Medium)

I love throwing veggies on the BBQ.  They are super easy to make and delicious.

veggies (Medium)

Some of my favorites are maui onions, red onions,  mushrooms, zucchini, and tomatoes. Just brush them with some olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and grill them up!

Mast-o-musir1 (Medium)

Of course there is always Most-o-musir with Pita Chips.  Try putting a dollop of mast-o-musir on your chicken, it is heavenly!

borani 7 (Medium)

Having Pita Chips? Then you must also make Borani Esfanaj! They go so well together!

Have a great holiday weekend!

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